California Central Coast Recipes
This is one of my favorite risottos! If you have available fresh Asparagus this is a fantastic way to utilize this noble vegetable.
I love to use the thin stalks version if I have a choice, but the thicker stalk version is just as tasty—it just needs several extra seconds parboiling.
I know that I have said that all risottos reheat well. This is one recipe that it’s not quite as nice the second time around due to the delicate asparagus.
Most risotto recipes are better suited for cooler seasons. But here on the California Central Coast, along the Coast, it's not unusual to get several cool- temperature days during the summer months that would make this recipe suitable for your guests and you then as well.
Please see article Risotto - Rice Italian Style!
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 30 minutes
2 large bunches of asparagus
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin Olive oil
1 cup onion , finely chopped
4 oz. pancetta or 4 slices bacon , diced
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups Risotto
Freshly Ground Black Pepper , a few grinds to taste
8 cups reduced sodium chick broth , hot
1 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
Salt to taste
1 Rinse off Asparagus, cut off tough ends –not cutting tops –into 1/2 inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water for approximately 4 minutes. Less if using thin stalked asparagus---very thin asparagus can sometimes be done(slight crunch when bitten)in 30 – 60 seconds. Keep testing for doneness. When done, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2 * If I know closer to dinner time I’ll have more distractions, I blanch the asparagus in advance, drain, put in bowl with paper towels, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until starting the cooking of the risotto. –Just cook a few minutes longer to heat through after adding to the almost finished risotto.
3 In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add onion and pancetta or bacon and cook about 4- 5 minutes-(until softened).
4 Add wine and cook until reduced by half on high heat. Stir in rice to coat evenly. Give it a few strong strokes.
5 Reduce heat to medium. Ladle in two cups broth and cook until absorbed ( 5-6 min.)
6 Continue stirring and keep adding as much broth as needed 1 cup at a time until rice is creamy and tender but firm in the center. Be sure to scrape bottom sides of pans so there are no hot or sticking areas. The process takes about 18 minutes from the time you add the first broth. (Set a timer for a guideline.)
7 Add asparagus and cook 2-5 minutes until heated through. Stir thoroughly picking up mixture from bottom of pan.
8 Add Parmesan cheese and stir then remove from heat and serve on warmed dinner plates.
Wine suggestion: A Sauvignon Blanc or Fume Blanc works well with this dish